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Pinterest to Transform Social Network Industry with New Shopping Function

July 14, 2015

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The image based social network will now allow users to use buyable Pins to purchase products, leading to a revolution in the social network market.

Pinterest, the social network which allows user to Pin posts which they like to their profile wall, has announced the launch in the US of buyable Pins which will allow users a safe and easy means to buy products from the site.

The scheme will be rolled out over the next few weeks, allowing customers in the U.S. access to 30 million products available for purchase from a variety of different brands such as Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, as well as retailers powered by the payment software Demandware such as Gardener’s Supply Company and Michaels. Thousands of stores which use Shopify, an online selling website, such as Poler Outdoor Stuff and SOBU will also be available under the scheme.

The service will work by allowing retailers to attach buy buttons to Pins which will allow customers to purchase products. The buyable Pins will only be available on iPad and iPhone for users in the US, with the firm due to release the service on other platforms and countries if successful.

The new payment service will revolutionise social media usage, with other picture based social media platforms such as Tumblr yet to create a service allowing users to buy directly from the site. Currently, customers on other platforms can see items which are posted as for sale but have to contact the user selling them directly to arrange a PayPal purchase and shipping.

Pinterest, which is often used by firms to show- case products and to cultivate customer interest, will not allow retailers to promote their products on the site. Instead they will have to rely on organic traffic through users sharing the pins with others across the site, allowing customers more control over the shopping experience and giving the online purchases a more personal edge, with recommendations coming not from faceless business but from friends and family.

However, there will be opportunity for firms to highlight their newest products as the social media platform will offer two new services which will provide users with a convenient means of finding the buyable Pins, ‘Shop our picks’ a curated selection of seasonal goods, and ‘Shop’ for the latest buyable Pins available.

The social network also offers app Pins, recipe Pins, article Pins and place Pins which gives the users the opportunity of assigning categories to posts, a feature which is unique among social network sites. Facebook allows users to mark themselves at a location or to attach an emotion to a post and Tumblr allows users to post titles on their entries but the unique nature of Pinterest’s categorisation will open them up to a new consumer market, as customers who spend an in- creasing proportion of their leisure time browsing social media websites adjust to being able to shop whilst socialising.